Smith, Walker Ready To Put Incidents In The Past

May 2 - Tampa Bay defensive back Dwight Smith and right tackle Kenyatta Walker want to leave their recent brushes with the law behind them and focus on the upcoming season. Despite their arrests, both players said Friday that the Bucs organization has been very supportive.

Defensive back Dwight Smith and right tackle Kenyatta Walker want to turn the page on their brushes with the law last month.

On Friday, both players addressed the media about their separate incidents.

Smith, a 2001 third-round draft pick out of Akron, was arrested on April 16 after he and another motorist were nearly involved in a car accident in Clearwater. The two men engaged in a shouting match before Smith allegedly waved a gun at him.

After police concluded their investigation, Smith was charged with aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony.

"It's a situation I should I have handled a little differently," said Smith. "It's an embarrassment to my family, but hopefully I can move on.

"I was thinking of the safety of my little brother. They tell me until all the facts come out they are on my side. Hopefully, things will come out and show that I made the right decision, just in the wrong manner. Hopefully, things will work out."

Walker was arrested for disorderly conduct on April 26 after he allegedly charged a bouncer who threw him out of an Ybor City nightclub.

"I had an unfortunate incident," said Walker. "I should have never been down there. I should have known better. I said I was sorry to the team, my family and the fans. Me and (Jon) Gruden had another long day in the office talking about it, and believe me it's been taken care of. Believe me."

Walker, a 2001 first-round draft selection out of Florida, fell out of favor with Gruden and offensive line coach Bill Muir at the beginning of last season. Walker struggled at right tackle throughout the preseason, which led to him being be benched in favor of Cornell Green for the team's Week 1 contest against New Orleans.

But once Walker earned the starting right tackle spot again, his play became more consistent and the Bucs' offense became more productive.

Gruden recently had a long discussion with Walker about his incident in Ybor. In fact, Walker said both he and Gruden talk quite often.

"Jon and Bill (Muir) call me on the phone more times than my momma does, but I think that's a good thing," said Walker.

Walker is entering his third year in the NFL, and he realizes he must continue to grow up both on and off of the football field.

"It's my first time going through the same offense, so that's good," Walker said of the upcoming season. "They've got a little confidence in me. I just have to start being a leader. You can only have "young" put on you for so long. It's time for me to be a leader and finish off where I've started."

QUOTE OF THE DAY:
Bucs head coach Jon Gruden on possible common traits possessed by both rookie QB Chris Simms and his father, Phil.

"I call him Chris Simpson. He's no relation to Phil Simms. He's left-handed and he comes from Texas. The other guy was a right-hander and a big strapper from Kentucky. You tell me the common traits that they have."


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